I prefer to run on the road as opposed to the sidewalk. Though the difference in concrete and asphalt is minimal, my body seems to notice. The sidewalk makes the runner go up and down as it connects to streets, is rarely maintained as well as the road, and has overhanging foliage that can often hide you from drivers. Since I live in the wonderfully fit-friendly city of Austin, bike lanes run throughout the city. As a road-runner, I often run in the bike lanes. Bike lanes separate me from oncoming traffic with a solid white line. If there is heavy traffic and since I am facing traffic, I will move up to the sidewalk for oncoming cyclists; especially if it is a big group. Do I feel entitled to bike lane usage rather or not I have a bike? Yes! I think the bike lane is lane for non-motorized travelers. A week ago, I might not have made the ‘non-motorized’ distinction. On my run last Saturday, I noticed a motorized bike in the bike lane. Not only did he startle other cyclist but disrupted turning traffic at the intersection. Feel free to shame me in the comments if I a wrong on this one, or even if you feel I shouldn’t run in the lanes. My brother Joe, a triathlete, cycles and approves with my running in ‘his’ lane but I am curious how the rest of the cyclists feel about it.
When I say back-to-school I mean it as a way of life; schedules change, traffic patterns are different, and the economy takes notice. My facebook friends’ children are going back-to-school and some of my friends are teachers that are going back themselves. Even for us non-children citizens out there, back-to-school has arrived. Be careful in traffic: mindful of school zones, bus-stops, crosswalks and cyclists. Cherish and nourish your children’s growth and enjoy the time you now have to do everything you neglected to do this summer.